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Monday, May 30, 2011

Common Birds and L-Pod Returns

When I was going through my bird photos to pick some of my favorites to feature in my new Zenfolio bird photo gallery, I realized that there are a lot of bird species I see all the time that I don't have great or even decent pictures of. Today, I decided to go out and focus on photographing some of these species.

White-crowned sparrow - the tip of the beak usually isn't that dark!
Brown-headed cowbird - a whole flock of them were down near the tidepools at Cattle Point, which was're more likely to see them in a farm field
One of the four brown creepers I saw near Third Lagoon
As is usually the case when you go out looking for one type of animal on San Juan Island, I ended up seeing a lot more wildlife than just birds today. I saw harbor seals, red foxes, and my first deer fawns of the season. These twin babies were running away from a fox. The fox wasn't interested in them, and mama deer followed behind at a more leisurely pace.

And, of course, orcas! Some L-Pod whales were seen coming down the Inside Passage on the east side of Vancouver Island yesterday, and as expected they made their way as far south as the Salish Sea today. At about 7:30 PM the 20 or so whales started passing Lime Kiln Point State Park on the westside of San Juan Island. The seas were a bit rough and they were moving quickly, so it was hard to track them let alone get IDs. I was able to identify L27 Ophelia, L47 Marina, and L53 Lulu. Here is L47 bursting through the surface:

It didn't look like these newly returned whales were going to stay around very long....they looked ready to blast out west the Strait of Juan de Fuca back to the Pacific Ocean. This was the first time L-Pod has been spotted in the San Juans in 2011. Last year, some L-Pod whales did the same thing in May: came down the Inside Passage, sped through the San Juans, and disappeared out west again. It was a few more weeks before they started spending regular time here. We'll just have to wait and see what these Ls do this year!

1 comment:

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Your sparrows are much brighter than ours Monika, never managed to connect with one this side.

Good to see the Orcas putting in an appearance too.


Now 181 each!!! Crikey it's gonna be a close run thing come Dec 31st...